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Walking Vs. Stationary Biking: Which Exercise Is Right For You?

Written By: William Rivers
Reviewed By: William Rivers
Published: March 7, 2023
Last updated: December 7, 2023

When it comes to exercise, there are countless options to choose from. Walking and stationary biking are two popular forms of exercise that offer numerous health benefits. However, which one is better for you? Which can work better as an exercise to reduce belly fat in seniors or as a regular workout for young people.

This article will explore both exercises' benefits and potential risks and provide general guidelines for safe exercise routines.

Walking vs. Stationary Biking

Walking and cycling are two of the most popular aerobic activities. They are adaptable to beginners' needs and those with injuries or other health conditions. However, the two have many differences, and you may wonder which workout is better for your health. So, here we explore the benefits of both.

Walking

Walking is a low-impact exercise involving moving on foot at a moderate pace. It is a simple and accessible exercise that requires no special equipment, making it an ideal choice for people of all fitness levels. Walking can be done indoors or outdoors, making it a versatile option for year-round exercise.

Benefits Of Walking

Walking is a popular excise option for most people, and it offers numerous benefits, including:

  • Cardiovascular Fitness: Walking is an excellent way to improve cardiovascular fitness. It helps to increase the heart rate, improving the cardiovascular system's efficiency.
  • Weight Loss and Maintenance: Walking is an effective way to lose and maintain a healthy weight. It burns calories, which helps to create a calorie deficit that leads to weight loss.
  • Low-Impact Exercise: Walking is a low-impact exercise that is easy on the joints. It is an ideal exercise for people who have joint pain or other joint problems.
  • Mental Health Benefits: Walking has been shown to have numerous mental health benefits, including reducing stress, improving mood, and reducing symptoms of anxiety and depression.

Stationary Biking

A stationary bike, also known as an exercise bike, is a piece of fitness equipment that mimics the cycling motion. It is an excellent way to get a cardiovascular workout without leaving the house. Stationary bikes come in two main types: upright and recumbent. Upright bikes simulate the experience of riding a traditional bicycle, while recumbent bikes have a more comfortable, reclined seat.

Benefits Of Stationary Biking

Cycling may be better if you want to burn calories and are short on time. Its numerous benefits include:

  • Cardiovascular Fitness: Stationary biking is an excellent way to improve cardiovascular fitness. It is a low-impact exercise that is easy on the joints, making it ideal for people with joint pain or other joint problems.
  • Weight Loss and Maintenance: Stationary biking is an effective way to lose and maintain a healthy weight. It burns calories, which helps to create a calorie deficit that leads to weight loss.
  • Low-Impact Exercise: Stationary biking is a low-impact exercise that is easy on the joints. It is an ideal exercise for people who have joint pain or other joint problems.
  • Variety of Intensity Levels: Stationary bikes offer a variety of intensity levels, making it easy to customize your workout to your fitness level and goals.

Potential Risks For Both Exercises

While both walking and stationary biking are generally safe exercises, there are potential risks associated with both.

  • Injury Risk for Walking: A sprained ankle is the most common injury associated with walking. To reduce the risk of injury, it is essential to wear proper footwear, start with shorter walks, and gradually increase the duration and intensity of your walks.
  • Injury Risk for Stationary Biking: A repetitive strain injury is the most common injury associated with stationary biking. It is important to adjust the bike to fit your body properly and to use proper form while biking to reduce the risk of injury.

Calculating Calories Burned

Calculating the calories burned during exercise can help you track your progress and adjust your workout to achieve your fitness goals. The number of calories burned during exercise depends on various factors, including weight, age, and workout intensity.

  • For a 155-pound person: Walking moderately burns approximately 260 calories per hour. Stationary biking at a moderate pace burns approximately 391 calories per hour.
  • For a 185-pound person: Walking at a moderate pace burns approximately 311 calories per hour. Stationary biking at a moderate pace burns approximately 466 calories per hour.

Considerations Before Starting an Exercise Program

Before starting an exercise program, it is essential to consider your age, health conditions, and fitness goals.

Age and Health Conditions: If you are over 40 or have a chronic health condition, such as diabetes or heart disease, it is important to consult your doctor before starting an exercise program.

Fitness Goals: Your fitness goals will also determine which exercise is right for you. Walking and stationary biking effectively improve cardiovascular fitness and lose weight. However, if you aim to build muscle or increase bone density, you may want to consider other exercises, such as weightlifting or resistance training.

The Verdict: Walking Vs. Stationary Biking

Walking and stationary biking are excellent forms of exercise that offer numerous health benefits. They are both low-impact exercises that are easy on the joints, making them an ideal choice for people of all fitness levels. However, each exercise has its unique benefits and potential risks. Before starting an exercise program, it is important to consider your age, health conditions, and fitness goals and to consult with your doctor if necessary. 

Looking for a bicycle but can't find one? Visit our comprehensive guide about the best bicycles for seniors to find more.

If you are searching for safe exercises for seniors, check out our guide on Senior Strong for which exercises to avoid for seniors.

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William Rivers is an editor with a master’s degree in Human Services Counseling at Maine State University. He has more than 20 years of experience working in the senior healthcare industry.
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